The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum announced today that it will honor President and Mrs. George W. Bush and family with the 2011 Reflections of Hope Award. Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, daughters of President George W. Bush, will be in Oklahoma City on April 20, 2011, to receive the award on behalf of their family.
From their years in the White House to efforts today, the Bush family has been focused on improving the welfare of others by tackling international humanitarian challenges, according to the National Memorial. While President Bush dedicated his efforts to spreading freedom and democracy, Laura Bush used her background in education to simultaneously advocate for women's rights in the Middle East. Their daughters continue this legacy through their work to enact meaningful change on a global scale.
Barbara Pierce Bush is the co-founder and president of the Global Health Corps, an organization that connects outstanding young leaders with organizations working on the front lines in order to promote global health equity in some of the world's most underserved areas. Under her leadership, the Global Health Corps has won widespread praise for its innovative work, including being named one of the 14 most innovative worldwide social startups by the Echoing Green Foundation.
Jenna Bush Hager is a teacher, a correspondent for NBC's TODAY Show and is the chair of UNICEF's Next Generation, an initiative dedicated to reducing the number of preventable childhood deaths around the world. Her experience traveling with UNICEF and witnessing the plight of the underprivileged inspired her to write “Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope,” based on the life of a 17-year-old single mother living with HIV and determined to shield her child from the abuse and neglect that riddled her own childhood.
“We are humbled to be selected for an award that holds such great personal meaning coming from an institution that is closely tied to overcoming terrorism,” said Bush and Hager in a statement. “In one of their first official visits outside of Washington after the inauguration, our parents came to Oklahoma City to dedicate the opening of the Museum and all of the hope it inspires. Little did we know that in a few months, we would face terror again on American soil. Since that time, the Memorial & Museum has evolved not only as a powerful healer of a community, but as a national role model. Its example motivates us even more to pursue professions that can make a difference in people's lives.”
The Reflections of Hope Award honors a living person or active organization whose conduct exemplifies in an extraordinary fashion two core beliefs of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation: that hope can survive and blossom despite the tragedy and chaos of political violence and that, even in environments marred by such violence, peaceful approaches provide the best answers to human problems.
“Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager and the myriad projects they have undertaken in their young careers, including the Global Health Corps and UNICEF's Next Generation, exemplify the core mission of this award and the Memorial & Museum,” said John Richels, Trustee Chairman, Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation. “As we prepare a new generation of leaders, we think it is appropriate that the Bush daughters be here to represent the leadership shown by their parents and in their own work in some of our country's darkest days and help us continue to educate about the senselessness of terrorism and violence.”
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum will honor the Bush Family, represented by Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, at a reception and dinner on April 20, 2011, a day after the nation marks the 16th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The reception and dinner will be at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.